Virtual teams are utilized by organizations to gather experts to collaborate online in order to accomplish organizational tasks. However, the characteristics of these teams create challenges to effective collaboration and effective team outcome. Collaboration is an essential component of teamwork, the notion of forming teams in organizations is the need for members with complementary skills and expertise to collaborate in order to achieve the goal for which the team is established. Literature on virtual teams has been growing for over a decade with researchers investigating different aspects of virtual work. Trust among virtual team members has been investigated by information systems researchers as a crucial challenge for virtual teams success. Knowledge sharing and management in virtual teams has been the focus of recent research studies as it represents a challenge in virtual work environments; specifically because the knowledge is scattered among geographically distributed team members with the absence of face to face interaction. This study extends the literature on virtual teams by investigating the relationship between knowledge sharing, trust, and collaboration among team members in virtual team settings; and examining how these constructs ultimately affect virtual team effectiveness. We argue that knowledge as a valuable asset of virtual team members' is a key factor influencing virtual team effectiveness.This research introduces a conceptual model which describes the hypothesized relationship between knowledge sharing, trust, collaboration, and team effectiveness in virtual team settings. The model is developed based on an intensive review of theliterature on the constructs of interest in both traditional and virtual team settings. The theoretical foundation for the model is found in the Knowledge Based Theory of The Firm, Social Capital Theory, and the Social Exchange Theory. The study extends the Knowledge Based Theory of the Firm by improving our understanding of how knowledge sharing impacts trust, collaboration, and virtual team effectiveness.
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